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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  September 28, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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on the broadcast here tonight, outbreak. contaminated fruit, over a dozen people are dead. tons of recalled beef. we'll go through the warnings tonight. pressure point, a new look at blood pressure numbers and the folks who may be at higher risk for stroke than they think. is this the man who can defeat the incumbent president? he could have ended the talk about running but he didn't. and can sneakers really shape up your figures while you walk like the ads say? if so, then why are so many customers getting money back? if so, then why are so many customers getting money back? "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. we want to begin here tonight with the deadliest food outbreak of its kind in this country in over ten years. as of tonight, at least 13 people have died, perhaps more. 72 more people have been infected across 18 states and it's all because of a listeria outbreak. the bacteria are being found on the outside of cantaloupes. they are spread by cutting unwashed fruit that is then consumed. they have all been traced back to a single distributor in colorado. there is another unreelated recall of beef but this cantaloupe outbreak may cause greater numbers of consumers to get sick. we begin with miguel almaguer in los angeles. >> reporter: contaminated melons are now responsible for the deadliest listeria outbreak in more than a decade. at least 13 people have died from the bacteria so far. the center for disease control
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says the melons came from jensen farms in holly, colorado. >> there is an investigation ongoing about how the contamination occurred. >> reporter: the cdc said they are unsure how and why the outbreak began but because listeria has a long incubation period, doctors believe the number infected will grow. >> it's very likely that we will continue to hear about new cases and perhaps additional deaths that are linked to the outbreak over the coming weeks and months. >> reporter: though the outbreak started in colorado, illnesses have been reported in at least 18 states nationwide. some 72 people have been sick. the 13 listeria deaths have come in eight different states. the bacteria especially dangerous for the elderly and pregnant women. among the victims, 48-year-old mother of three shelly ocopinki kraut, her daughter tiffany in disbelief. >> there's got to be some answers to this and how this
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could happen. it's happening to other people. >> reporter: the contaminated cantaloupe was shipped during a six-week period, but the cdc is worried some of the tainted fruit may still be inside refrigerators. they say when in doubt, throw it out. listeria outbreaks have been deadly before. in 1985, contaminated cheese killed 48. listeria is known like e. coli and salmonella. wash your fruit. tonight they say cantaloupes have been pulled off the store shelves but the number who get sick could still rise. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. >> we mentioned this earlier. tyson food has recalled more than 131,000 pounds of fresh ground beef after an e. coli outbreak in ohio. the products include kroger brand and butcher's brand ground beef with a use or freeze-by date of september 12th which means most of it has probably
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already been consumed. tyson urged customers to check their freezer and return any of the products that may still be around. new information about stroke. a blood pressure reading that's just above the normal range could still point to a higher risk. our report on this tonight from our chief science correspondent robert bazell. >> reporter: emily flores had high blood pressure. she got it down but her doctor said not low enough. >> i decided i do want to live a better life. i needed to do this now. >> reporter: a blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 or lower is normal. anything above 140 over 90 is high. several years ago doctors created a category of prehypertension for everyone in between. how dangerous is prehypertension, especially the range just below high blood pressure? >> the study out today suggests that slightly lower blood pressure numbers may be incredibly harmful for your
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health. >> reporter: people at the low end of the range have a 22% higher risk of stroke. those at the higher end of the range are 79% more at risk. especiallyists say blood pressure is a continuous line with no magic point where it becomes dangerous. other factors including smoking, weight, exercise and diet influence how dangerous it is. the latest study is one more reason for caution. >> when your patients hear about this, how would you like them to respond? >> i would call it an orange light, not a red flag. but it means keep an eye on how you are taking care of yourself. >> reporter: elevated blood pressure is so common that one-third of adult americans have hypertension and one-third have prehypertension. doctors emphasize it can be controlled. emily flores with a combination of medications, diet and exercise now has blood pressure way down into the normal range and looks forward to a healthier life. robert bazell, nbc news, new
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york. now to the latest example of what the fbi tonight is calling a home grown terrorist plot. listen to the details of the story. a massachusetts grad student is in federal custody tonight accused of scheming to fly large scale model aircraft filled with explosives into federal buildings. our justice correspondent pete williams in our washington bureau tonight with more on this. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, he's 26, a u.s. citizen and was arrested today in framingham, massachusetts. tonight, fbi agents are accusing him of plotting to bomb the u.s. capitol and the pentagon, then to shoot people fleeing from the buildings. they say he planned to use six-foot-long model planes like this one filled with plastic explosives. investigators say he came to washington last may and took surveillance pictures including this one. the fbi said he had a strong desire to be a terrorist and thought he was meeting here with al qaeda recruiters, but they turned out to be fbi undercover
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operatives. he had to borrow money from them to buy the model plane and travel to washington. he never had any explosives. so while he had strong aspiratio aspirations, the fbi said he lacked the means to carry out any attack, brian. >> pete, thanks for that. we learned today the north anna nuclear power plant in virginia was shut down during the east coast earthquake in august because of the vibrations from the quake and not a loss of electrical power as plant operators first thought. this was the first time an earthquake has automatically shut down an operating nuke plant in this country. the regulatory commission tells nbc news that's how the systems should have reacted. the plant is 12 miles from the epicenter of that quake. look at this in washington today. looked like the scene out of a movie. a team of inspectors rappelling down the side of the washington monument looking for damage done
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by that same earthquake. lowering themselves with ropes and harnesses. as we saw they were carrying ipads that contained data from the 1999 restoration of the monument and they tapped the various stones with mallets, listening for signs of damage, looking for new cracks and they took photos of all of it with digital cameras. this daring mission could go on now for several more days. we turn now to presidential politics tonight and the man whose every word is being watched and listened to so very carefully. new jersey's republican governor chris christie is getting pressure, as you may know, to join the gop race and so when he was asked about it last night more than once his answers drew a lot of attention. our chief white house correspondent political director chuck todd with us from our d.c. newsroom tonight. chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. last night we told you there were some twists and turns ready to go in the presidential race. well, we have our first twist.
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chris christie opened the door a crack to running for president. advisers tell me a final decision will likely come in a matter of weeks and perhaps days. it's what new jersey governor chris christie did not say at the reagan library tuesday night that froze the republican presidential race in place. he didn't say no. >> are you reconsidering or standing firm? [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: at first he had fun. everyone go to politico.com. it's on the front page. those are the answers. >> i'm not running. >> i'm 100% certain i'm not going to run. >> i don't feel like i'm ready to run. >> reporter: when an audience member pleaded with him -- >> i mean this with all my heart. we can't wait another four years to 2016. [ applause ] >> we need you. your country needs you to run for president. >> reporter: chris christie stopped joking and left an opening. >> i thank you for what you're saying and i take it in and i'm
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listening to every word of it and feeling it, too. >> reporter: everything about christie's speech screamed national campaign. >> president obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election. >> reporter: today, the declared republican candidates treated the potential christie candidacy with kid gloves. >> great guy. colorful character. >> he's marvelous. >> reporter: but romney's senior adviser drew a distinction. >> whether he gets in or stays out won't change the fact that mitt romney is the only major candidate in this race who's had a career in the private economy. >> reporter: christie drew his own contrast with rick perry who labeled opponents of giving in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants heartless. >> from my position that is not a heartless position. that is a common sense position. >> reporter: the other republican still testing the waters, sarah palin, seemed to hint tuesday night she's leaning against it. >> does a title take away my
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freedom to call it like i see it. >> reporter: and a sign late today that christie's first to ray into running has had an effect. and in an interview perry said he chose the wrong word when he said heartless. >> chuck todd from the d.c. newsroom. we'll stay on it all. thanks. here at our nbc news he headquarters in new york we have been hosting the education nation gathering. so much of the talk this year has been about all the good people working across the country to even up the playing field between advantaged kids and disadvantaged kids and then along comes a story like this. it's about the s.a.t.s, the annual ritual this time of year. several students from a wealthy new york community have been arrested for cheating, accused of buying a high score by having a college student take the test for them for a fee.
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our report tonight from nbc's ron allen. >> reporter: the six students left court in shame. 19-year-old sam epigaf allegedly took the s.a.t.s for them. now a college sophomore. the exam's top score is 2400. >> scores for 2220, 2210, 2140, 2180. what these six kids did was they took an opportunity away from every other child. >> reporter: four already are in college. two still enrolled at great neck north high school. one of the country's top 100 in recent years where students say the pressure to get into college is intense. >> if they had the money on hand and they can, they had the opportunity it's not that surprising. >> reporter: prosecutors say he charged up to $2,500, used fake i.d.s to impersonate the students including a female at testing centers where they would not be known. he pleaded not guilty.
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his lawyer said this is not a matter for the courts. >> the issue is administrative within the school. >> reporter: rumors of cheating led to an investigation. it found some students performed much better on a recent exam than their grades would have predicted and the written part of some exams all had the same handwriting. >> it does say something about our times that kids feel intense pressure to get into the right school or to get into a college. they are willing to utilize something like this. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of students plan to take the test this weekend. as school officials prepare themselves with a crash course in security. ron allen, nbc news, new york. >> still ahead here tonight one of the success stories for american high school students who really are out there earning it. a program that's working to find and develop the doctors we're going to need. and we have all seen the ads. wear these sneakers, get your body into better shape while you walk during the day. well, there is something you should know.
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the federal trade commission announced today reek is settling false claims, charges related to sneakers that are supposed to help tone your legs and backside while you walk. the government says that's not true, but reebok, defending a half billion dollar business says, yes, it is. the story tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: these reebok ads on tv certainly promised good results. >> they will help make your legs and butt look great, too. >> reporter: just by walking in their toning shoes, customers would see 1% improved muscle tone in the calves and hamstrings and 28% in the buttocks. the ftc says the ads were deceptive. >> their consumers expected to get a workout, not to get worked over. >> reporter: the models include the easy tone walking shoes and
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run tone flip-flops with customers paying $60 to $100 per pair. now reebok will pay $25 million in refunds to those who bought the shoes. >> reebok showed us the science behind their design. >> reporter: on "today" in 2009 jay georgia nis lieberman reported that they use balance ball technology to make the shoes. >> air pods under the ball of the shoe. >> reporter: the american council on exercise studied with the university of wisconsin at lacrosse and found no advantage. >> there was no difference between wearing normal running shoes or a toning shoe. >> reporter: reebok stood by the easy tone technology saying, settling does not mean we agree with the ftc's allegations. we do not. consumer advocates say many companies are targeting customers who want to lose weight and stay in shape. >> they want it to seem like losing weight can happen in an
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instant. >> reporter: reebok will stop claiming the shoes can improve muscle tone but the shoes will remain part of the brand. if ftc won't say if it is investigating others but the safety commission has 42 claims of injuries from a variety of toning shoe brands including sprains and fractures. >> just ahead tonight, speaking of products, a new challenge to the ipad and how this one compares in terms of bells, whistles and price. as much as i can about a company before i invest in it. that's why i like fidelity. they give me tools and research i can't get anywhere else. their stock screener lets me search for stocks with more than 140 criteria. i can see what their experts are thinking and even call them to bounce an idea off of one of their investment professionals. a good strategy relies on good insight. if you wanted to learn more about a company, i think you'd actually have to be there.
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can you start the day the way you want? can orencia help? [ woman ] i wanted to get up when i was ready, not my joints. [ man ] i wanted to button my shirt, myself. [ female announcer ] could your "i want" become "i can"? talk to your doctor. orencia reduces many ra symptoms, like pain, morning stiffness and progression of joint damage. it's helped new ra patients and those not helped enough by other treatments. do not take orencia with another biologic medicine for ra due to an increased risk of serious infection. serious side effects can occur including rare but fatal infections. cases of lymphoma and lung cancer have been reported. tell your doctor if you are prone to or have any infection like an open sore or the flu or a history of copd, a chronic lung disease. orencia may worsen your copd. doctors have prescribed orencia for thousands of patients. talk to your doctor. see if you can change "i want"
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call right now. well, we mentioned the new product in the tech world today, the unveiling of amazon's answer to the apple ipad. the tablet they are calling the kindle fire -- get it? revealed to the world today by ceo jeff bazos. the price is $199, half of the lowest priced i pipad, but this
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lacks the camera, microphone, 3g service of the ipad. in their defense, the yankees already handily clinched the a.l. east, but props to the rays for the triple play last night. russell martin grounds into the triple play. here's the call. >> chops it to third. out there. out at second. over to first. they get the triple play! >> you don't see many of those. for those scoring at home that was 5-4-3. wilson greatbatch has died and he deserves the thanks of millions of americans for the invention that has kept so many of our loved ones alive. the world war ii navy vet was tinkering in his barn in 1958 when he came up with what later became known as the pacemaker. the first models were implanted in dogs. later the medtronnic company made them for humans and made them part of routine medicine these days.
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wilson greatbatch was 92 years old. well, we have proof in the form of video tonight that our national parks are still the place for a spectacular vacation. where else are you going to see this and by the way when is someone going to do something about the scourge of bear cub wrestling in this country? jeff molyneaux was coming back from a hike and noticed these two going at it. mom watching from not far away. 20 minutes it went on until they walked away with mom. it's a great thing to watch. we posted the entire video on our website. up next here tonight, giving young people those first moments of discovery that may set them on the path of their dreams. it's bring your happiness to work day. ♪ campbell's microwavable soups, right where you work. in three minutes, the deliciousness
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that brings a smile to any monday. and soup has what you need at work, to work. make any place, your happy place. ♪ campbell's -- it's amazing what soup can do. yeah, i toog nyguil bud i'm stild stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your stuffy nose. [ deep breath ] thank you! that's the cold truth! you can't change the way banking works. just accept it, man. free ? doesn't close at five ? try nature. it's a bank. what do you want, a hug ? just accept it. hidden fees, fine print,
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or they'll stick it to you some other way. stay with the herd, son. accept it. just accept it. accept it. just accept it. accept it. if we miss this movie, you're dead. if you're stuck accepting banking nonsense, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. with two children and no way to support them. i put myself through nursing school, and then i decided to go get a doctorate degree. university of phoenix gave me the knowledge to make a difference in people's lives.
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my name is dr. kimberly horton. i manage a network of over a thousand nurses, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] university of phoenix is proud to sponsor education nation. because we believe an educated world is a better world. education nation is sponsored in part by the university of phoenix which believes an educated world is a better world. finally tonight, as we continue our special focus on education here at nbc news, a story about an out and out success, a program that opens a much needed path to careers in science and medicine for
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students before they get down the road to college. nbc's anne thompson has our education nation report. >> reporter: at boston's brig ham and women's hospital where every day is a matter of life and death divine williams makes rounds in the trauma unit. titi separates cells for research. and raju prepares supply carts for life-saving surgery. >> we are going to room 36. >> reporter: typical tasks at one of the nation's top hospitals, until you consider these three are in high school. participants in the student success jobs program recruiting future medical professionals from boston's inner city schools at a time when we trail the world in math and science. >> this program has opened lots of doors. i'm meeting people that i wouldn't meet otherwise. >> reporter: she's doing things most teenagers never can -- lab work that earned her a credit on a published medical report.
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>> i think it's that i'm part of real research. that was really cool to me, i guess. >> reporter: the students are paid for their work, but money is not the lure. >> i can do this without getting paid, i would still do it. it's nothing about the money. it's all about the experience. >> reporter: to get here to radiology or anywhere in the hospital the students need more than good grades though grades do help. they need passion. enthusiasm that can't wait until college to be nurtured. >> if we can catch them five, six years earlier so they have hands-on experience their passion multiplies. >> reporter: since 1999, 85% of the program's alumni went on to study science, health or medicine in college. today, 60% work in the health care field. raju devine and titi all plan to stay in the field. they are helping others now and
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helping themselv ining themselv >> there is not much out there i can't do. >> reporter: building doctors for the future by building better students today. anne thompson, nbc news, boston. >> that's our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you, as always, for being here with us. we thought we'd leave you tonight on a beautiful evening shot of the washington monument in d.c., which while shaken a bit, is going to be around longer tha

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